Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Time Warner, Rudd Management and 311 Don't Care About You

As seen on the Consumerist

I'll have to detail my case in categories.

Time Warner
As it turns out, my cousin and I haven't been using the $80/month internet we're paying for. Since we're never home, we decided to dial Time Warner to cancel our service.

Time Warner was one-step ahead of us though. You see, Time Warner (and AOL, who they own and who is infamous for its ruthless customer retention policies) can not stand when customers discontinue their services. When my cousin finally reached a customer service rep, the lady informed her that she could only assist her with the addition of services, not the deletion thereof. Apparently Time Warner's staff members have certain niche specialties. She proceded to put my cousin on hold for 40 minutes, at which point my cousin gave up.

I volunteered to take over the cancellation process yesterday at work. I was disgusted when I realized that the hold-recording was no more than a series of paid advertisements. I'm sure Time Warner's account executives promise these advertisers a certain amount of minutes that listeners will be privy to their messages. This means that even if the customer service reps are available, Time Warner customers will be put on hold in order to appease the advertisers' dollars.

I went through the waiting/brainwashing process until I finally got a representative. Following his standard greeting, I said, "Hi, I'd like to cancel my internet services." He said, "Hold," and transferred me back to the very beginning of the menu. Pissed of yet powerless, I waited another 20 minutes until a female rep answered. Before I told her of my intentions, I stated "Do not dare hang up on me. I've been hung up on and transferred twice. I'm canceling my internet services."

Ironically, I was speaking to the nicest lady at Time Warner. "I would never hang up on you, dear." Music to my ears.

In all of her niceness, the only option she could offer me was an August 16th pick-up date for my modem. This date corresponds with the date of discontinued services, which means we'd have to pay for another month. "No can do, I'll drop it off myself." She gave me the address, which is conveniently 3 blocks away from me. I assume the wait-time there will be a few hours and there will be plenty of hoops to jump through before I complete my mission.

Rudd Management

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Here's the subtle plastering job Rudd hooked us up with.
Blends in nicely with the paint, wouldn't you say?

There are blatant patches of deadly-mold on our walls. Before I moved in with my cousin, she assured me that she was on top of the mold situation and would have it taken care of. She made several attempts to call Rudd Management. Finally their slack-ass maintenance guy came over, scraped off a layer of green and plastered it up. We thought that part was fine, but he made no attempt to repaint our beautiful rust-colored walls. Well, good thing he didn't. If he had, perhaps we wouldn't have noticed the moss green patches that seeped back through. My cousin continued callling and calling, leaving at least 10 messages, all to no avail. At one point, she ran into the maintenance guy in our hallway and he looked like he saw a ghost. She yelled at him, telling him to take care of it immediately. Mold. Is. Deadly. Asshole.

The lazy bastard ended up going to look at it that day, but concluded that plaster sometimes discolors.

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A "mere discoloration."

Hi, we're not idiots. Perhaps an off-white would be an acceptable discoloration, but not a bubbling, microbial moss green.

We have continued to call daily. All we have received is an empty promise that someone would come over and test it for us. No one has shown up. That was a month ago.

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Plaster often bubbles too.

One of our friends suggested we call and complain about Rudd Management to the city's public service line. My cousin did so yesterday morning. I heard her struggling to get through to the idiot on the other end. At one point, I heard her spelling it out for her: "I have mold in my house. My management company is ignoring me. I need it tested immediately."

Once the lady understood, she promised she'd send someone over. The city's policy is to send someone over without calling first. "Well, please put a note on my complaint that we are never home. We need to be called first so we can make sure someone is here."

The lady promised to make such a note. My bet? She did not.

This process pissed my cousin and I off grandly. What kind of an archaic system is this? They refuse to make appointments? They just pop in and hope you're there? Why would they prefer wasting their time making frequent visits rather than, oh I don't know, calling beforehand?

My cousin wagers that the lady's slow response time and inability to understand a damn thing she was saying was most likely not due to stupidity, probably more of an outcome of her desire to lengthen the phone call so that she wouldn't have to pick up another call and "help" someone else. "The city hires these idiot union workers. Nothing ever gets done."

I'd have to say that I agree with her assessment.

In summary, Time Warner rips you off with smooth avoidance techniques. Rudd Management is lazy and couldn't care less about your death (as long as you pay your rent). 311's office resides next to Mr. and Mrs. Flinstone's; they hire only the inept and, quite frankly, they just couldn't give a shit about your complaints (your tax dollars at work).


A Concerned Fan said...

Sounds like a blast. I'm feelin' a bit under the weather...can I come by and inhale your walls to cure myself?

Paige Jennifer said...

You need a Jewish mother. Do you want to rent mine? She'd be all up in Rudd's face until they fixed the moldy Poltergeist-esqu walls. And if all else fails, can you call a local news station?